Dear Reader,
What a beautiful day it is today! It's cold but the slant of the sun and the longer days are really helping. Very little wind...and just a delightful day!

February 5th through the 13th, I visited Denver and saw the entire Heim crew. What a great time I had! Grmmie just loves to sit and play with the three little darlings! Chloe and Katie are running all over, and Jack is walking around still holding on, but getting around so much more! He pushed Katie in the little scooter, too. Katie loved it! (see the kids's photos at the bottom of all the pictures.)  Jeff had a business trip, so Angela and I spent a lot of time hanging out...taking the kids to the park on warmer days and even tried the Book Babies session which didn't turn out quite like we thought it would.  While  Angela stayed with Jack who became ill outside the library room, I had Katie and Chloe both to watch...and well...Chloe decided the big circle of people were there to watch her so she got up and walked into the middle of the circle. Of course Katie didn't want to be left out, so she joined her sis in the middle, too. Grammie thought it was so funny, I took photos before grabbing them and bringing them back to the edge. Jack recovered and we went home a little early. My! What a time we had all week with 3 little wild ones!

Jeff and Angela had Jeff's best friend, Ryan,  from third grade (and still!) come over for a party with his 2 girls and his mom and dad (who are dear friends of mine!) This all dates back into the 1980's when we lived in Colorado. We had quite a party as you can tell by the pictures! It was so good to see Ryan, who I consider another son, and Terry and Alan who are just as sweet and in love as they have been since high school! Ryan's daughters are so sweet, too!

Too soon I returned and started in on the Restoration Agriculture Farm Plan. It's coming along slowly. I am measuring the land and putting in all the roads, cottage, etc on a large map. I need to do this to see where I want to work first and also decide what I want to do first! So much to do - such an exciting project!

And just so, dear Reader, you are not upset that more and more trees are being torn down (mostly box elders), please look at the different times Jack and I (and now  just me) have started over. First - when we bought the Land in 1973: Nothing on it. Absolutely NOTHING. (See photo 1 above) We started planting trees right away. Secondly, 10 years later in 1983, a company took out the gravel for the overpass and enlarged the pond, again creating a very desolate landscape. (see Photo 2) Lastly, 40 years later now in 2013, the landscape becomes very open again, but fear not! it will grow lush and beautiful with permanent staple crop trees. Just give me a little time.  (See photo 3 taken of the pond and cottage today.)

I am not only doing this for myself... I am doing this for my grandchildren and THEIR grandchildren. Therefore I can afford to be very patient with slow growing trees. I've been at this for forty years and I know what even 10 years can do. So, relax and enjoy the process. I certainly am!

Chris and Smitty and their brothers have been out several times. They are still totally nuts! It's always so good to have them here and to hear their laughter across the pond! See 2nd row of photos. Dave is starting a fire after we cleaned out the run-off creek (again...or should I say constantly!).

Yesterday I had the most wonderful conversation with a friend from junior high (NIU Lab School, DeKalb). Carol Beth (C.B.)  and I were great buddies, so I gave her a call out of the blue where she lives on Mercer Island, Washington. It was so good to hear her voice and catch up. One very unfortunate happening: C. B's dear mother, Mrs. Frantz, passed away a week ago at 97 years of age. I am so saddened by her passing - she was a dear, gracious lady - like a second mother to me. Time does march on, and we lose the best of the best. God Speed, Mrs. Frantz. My thoughts and heart are with you.

Dear Reader, this just reminds me to stay in touch with friends and family all the time. Life is moving so quickly yet we have such wonderful memories of dear friends and family and it warms our hearts. We must always remember great times and great people in our lives!

Hope the impending snow storm on Tuesday doesn't turn out to be a doozie, dear Reader. Keep warm and safe!



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